It has finally gotten cold here in Chicago and being the forever-freezing human being that I am, I've developed quite a few strategies for surviving the colder Midwestern months. While I'm still hoping to move to a warmer climate in the (hopefully) near future, I thought I'd share some of my staying warm strategies while I'm still using them in chilly Chicago!
Mmmm - this makes me warmer just thinking about it! Coffee, tea, hot chocolate - any kind of warm beverage your heart desires. I've found that warm beverages are really the best way to start warming up because they warm you from the inside out! My favorites are Starbucks' hot chocolate (the powdered make-it-yourself kind, of course, because when it's truly cold outside there is no way I'm driving to a Starbucks, even if it's a drive through) and Teavana's White Chocolate Peppermint Tea.
Space heaters are your best friend
I cannot emphasize this one enough! I was resistant to the idea of space heaters foryears (who knows why) and boy was I missing out. These little suckers are amazing at heating a room if you aren't looking to heat your entire house/apartment. They come in a variety of different sizes and prices so it's really all about finding one that works best for the space you're heating and your budget. My favorite ones are this ceramic one (it heats up a room so quickly!) and this adorable little purple one - both from Lasko. While the little one doesn't put out as much heat, it's perfect for my office space because it doesn't affect the people around me yet still manages to keep me sufficiently warm.
Trick yourself with candles
Yeeeeesss candles! This may or may not be my mind tricking my body but I swear I always feel warmer after lighting a couple of candles in my apartment. Something about the lighting that candles create makes me think that I'm warmer than I actually am. Plus, they always come in these amazing homey smells that make it so you can't help but think about warm places.
Fleece scarves are the easiest way to warm up quickly via a clothing choice! For me, keeping my neck and chest area warm is a huge priority because if this area gets cold, it's much more uncomfortable than if say my toes or knees were to get cold. Fleece scarves are my absolute favorite because they're not to itchy and so warm! I love the blanket scarf trend, too, because you can easily fold out a blanket scarf and wrap it around yourself instead!
Take your showers wisely
I know this sounds like a weird one but hear me out! Showers are the absolute best way to warm up quickly and when the weather gets really cold, I try to plan my showers according to when I'm going to need a body heat recharge! As soon as I get out of bed, I'm already warm from being under the covers for so long so I'll often try to wait until later in the day to shower when I know I'll need a little pick me up.
Lastly, Exercise (if necessary)
This is a last resort - I swear! I'm just as lazy as the next person when it comes to exercising when it's cold out but I can't deny the fact that exercise really warms up the body from the inside out. Even if it's just a couple of zumba videos off of YouTube, after 10 minutes, I'm warm enough that I even have to take off a layer!
Bonus Tip: Accepting the Heat Bill
Back in the day, I used to try my best to save as much money as possible by not running my heat and suffering as long as I could in the cold until it was unbearable! As I've gotten older and more mature, however, I've come to the point where I simply accept the fact that my bill will be higher in the winter months and acknowledge that since I'm lucky enough to have a heating system, I should use it for its intended purpose - keeping me warm! I still make an effort to lower the temperature overnight and when I'm out of the house during the day, but mentally accepting the heat bill that is to come helps me fret less during the winter months.
What are you doing to keep warm this winter? If you have any other staying warm strategies - please share! God knows I need them!